Good energy efficiency policy initiatives were taken in 2009 and 2010. Political attention in 2011 concentrated on the important Clean Energy Bill (better known as the carbon tax).
However it is becoming increasingly clear that the results of all the policies need to be integrated, and all the policies implemented between 2009 and 2011 now need to be put in one overarching blueprint. The stop/start nature of initiatives such as home insulation and solar panel (PV) schemes demonstrates the need for better policy alignment and policy coordination. We call this the trans-sector approach.
The disastrous rollout of smart meters in Victoria really brought home the message that policies need to be developed from one common vision. As BuddeComm has been predicting since the inception of the scheme by the Ministerial Council for Energy back in 2006, smart meters need to be seen within the context of smart grids – developing these schemes in isolation is a recipe for disaster.
The looming tsunami of electric vehicles (smart cars) will further highlight the need for an intelligent infrastructure that is able to manage all of these new initiatives.
There is a clear absence of vision around bringing all these positive initiatives together into one plan, with a focus on the smart infrastructure that is needed to form the backbone needed to achieve the outcomes the government is aiming for. The year 2012 should be when this is achieved; the longer it takes the more difficult it will be to get those results.